Posted on 6/12/10 11:47 PM
How can a movie be rated amongst the top 50 worst films of all time and still be a must see? Well, Ed Wood comes to mind, but for all those in need of a film with a little more groove to it, Black Belt Jones is one of the most quintessential blaxploitation flicks of the 70's and is one of the most thoroughly entertaining pictures of its time.
From a filmic perspective however, this is a terrible flick. The writing and directing is so incredibly 3rd rate it would make jack black cringe. Nevertheless, the dialogue and scenario's are so incredibly hoaxy and cliché that they border on absurd and nothing quite rivals the hilarity of that which is absurd.
The characters, acting and overall premise is so unbelievably unconvincing that at no point does this film even make an effort to comment on the societal issues which most blaxploitation films at least attempted to address. Black Belt Jones is essentially a self parody of all that was cliché and overdone in 70's Hollywood cinema and thrived in the woeful confidence of its inanity.
The action scenes, which were essentially the foundation of the film, were poorly executed to say the least, but were able to stay wildly entertaining throughout the duration of the film because of the abundance of non-sequitors which were relentlessly inserted in almost every scene. If anything, seeing Scatman Corothers doing karate in a bright red cardigan is perhaps the funniest thing one might ever see.
This film is truly the patriarch for all the foolish spoof films that have come afterwards, but has a charm that can't be replicated in modern cinema. Black Belt Jones is a true B movie classic that championed the spoofy and light-hearted side of blaxploitation cinema which helped to diversify and define the genre. While it neglected to contextualize the racial problems in the 1970's, Black Belt Jones embodied the funky and upbeat sentiments of black power that made blaxploitation cinema a special period in film history and is one of the funniest films of its era.